Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hollywood Divorces

Unless you've been in a coma for the past week, you already know the biggest news story right now is the upcoming divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

As much as we like to think of Hollywood as royalty, we need to face the facts: the kings and queens of the silver screen just were not meant to marry each other. It never ends well.

In tribute to Katie earning her freedom from Tom "science fiction is my religion" Cruise, I thought I would share with you the most famous Hollywood divorces in history.


Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (America's Sweethearts)

These silent films stars became the first Hollywood power-couple, winning the hearts of movie fans all over the world and setting tabloids on fire. Of course, it started out as a scandal. Mary was already married to another man when she started secretly dating the swashbuckling action star Doug. To preserve her wholesome, apple-pie public image, the movie star quickly divorced her first husband and made it legal with her leading man.

But when talkies came around, their careers couldn't survive and neither did their marriage. Doug grew restless and sailed overseas, only to fall in love with a high-society beauty. Mary stayed in the U.S. and filed for divorce.

Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (Scandal of the Century)

They seemed like the perfect couple. Publicity photos of them revealed two happy 20-somethings on the brink of Hollywood stardom and newlywed life. They had a son and a daughter. But their promising marriage came to an abrupt end when Debbie's best friend, Elizabeth Taylor, put the moves on her husband.

Eddie, stunned that such a gorgeous woman would ever fall in love with him, eagerly left his wife and kids for the Hollywood glam queen. It was the first Hollywood scandal of epic proportions. Liz, who later coldly dumped Eddie for Richard Burton, became a tabloid sensation after breaking up the marriage. Debbie and Liz didn't speak for decades after the incident, but both made amends on Liz's deathbed last year.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (Who Loves Lucy?)

America's Favorite Redhead and her handsome Cuban hubby were the most famous television stars during the 1950s. Their marriage may have looked hilarious and loving on screen, but behind the scenes it was full of unhappiness.

Starring in a show together and owning a production company proved too much stress for the famous couple. After almost 20 years of marriage and two children, they called it quits, but remained life-long friends.

Cher and Sonny Bono (The Odd Couple)

Cher was a teenage high school drop out when she met the much-older Sonny in Hollywood. Both were desperately trying to break into showbiz. After living together, the two best friends fell in love. It wasn't long before the struggling musicians realized their marriage could be utilized for success. They released quirky duos and found instant fame. They later started the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, which became legendary.

As Cher got older, however, she resented her husband's controlling and possessive nature. She wanted to be independent. The couple split in 1975. They have a son.

Madonna and Sean Penn (The Fame Whores)

Nobody wanted fame more than Madonna. And what better way to capitalize on her pop star status than to marry a Hollywood bad boy? It was the most publicized wedding of the century. It was also the most turbulent romance in history, with public screaming matches and Sean's violent anger towards his wife's mega-fame. He even served more than a month in prison for viciously attacking a photographer.

After four years of marriage in 1989, both Madonna and Sean were sick of each other and filed for divorce. They had no children.

Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel (The rock star & the supermodel)

Hollywood was a magical place in the 1980s, especially when Billy Joel married his Uptown Girl, Christie. She was the All-American beauty every girl in the world wanted to be. The two wed the same year as Madonna and Sean, in a more private ceremony. Teenage girls and soft rock enthusiasts thought it was a match made in heaven.

But it wasn't. Nine years later, Christie and her millionaire lover survived a near-fatal helicopter crash in snowy mountains. Realizing life was short, she sent Billy divorce papers immediately after she was rescued.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (Tom's Destruction: Part I)

Hollywood couldn't have dreamed of a better couple. Nobody was more famous than these two lovebirds during the 1990s. They starred in movies together. They smooched on the red carpet. They blinded the world with their bright smiles and jaw-dropping beauty.

Unfortunately for Tom, Nicole was too smart for him. Ten years into their marriage, she ditched Tom's controlling ways and Scientology obsession for something more sacred: a life. Unfortunately for Nicole, the divorce came with a price. Tom has restricted their two adopted children from having much contact with her.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt (The Good Girl & The Bad Boy)

Hollywood fairytales were shattered permanently when this marriage went to hell. Jen and Brad had just decorated their dream home and they were trying to conceive a child when Brad began filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. But the dream died when Jen's husband met Angie Voight.

Poor Jen didn't stand a chance. Like Debbie Reynolds 50 years before, she watched her husband frolic delightfully with Angelina Jolie all over the tabloids. Their five-year marriage ended in 2005.

What do you think of these Hollywood divorces? Which one shocked you the most? Is there one you think should be on the list?


Bunny Moreno said...

I think Liz seducing Eddie Fisher was the worst. I know she was in mourning for Michael Todd but really now. I think it was deceitful and Debbie Reynolds never saw it coming. That truly was a stab in the back. xox

Shybiker said...

Good history lesson. The Reynolds/Fisher/Taylor triangle was the worst. I'm impressed you got the gender of Sonny & Cher's child correct.

Meri said...

I no longer get surprised at all when hollywood couples split- it must be such a bizarre lifestyle, how could you have a normal relationship amidst all of that?

Josie said...

I have YET to get over Jen and Brad. Tears.
xo Josie

sherene said...

I like Jolie, so i dont know lol.

Swarnali said...

It is no more a shock for me after seeing almost every other celeb couple splitting after a few years. Things just get bitter with both trying to get the better of the other,I suppose. Debbie and Eddie's divorce was the most tragic, I feel so sorry for her. Same for Jennifer; they looked so amazing together :(

The Grande Dame said...

Is there such a thing as a shocking divorce anymore? I do love reading all the old scandals though and how flabbergasted people could get. However, I hope Katie gets her career back now. I quite like her.

ravenlocks said...

I am still shocked about how big of a whore Angelina Ho-lie is. No other celeb divorce will ever shock me as much as theirs did. I don't even think Brad is attractive anymore.

Tom Cruise is weird...I'm not surprised at all about his divorce lol.

Did you have a good 4th of July? :) Hope you had a good weekend, too!



Sherin said...

Ahhh, so sad that celebrities pretty much can't ever make marriage work! There have been so many sad stories over the years.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

I adore Mary Pickford, she was such a beauty...ahh..just love her :) I remember all these relationships, wish I would have been born for the earlier ones though. Lucille Ball didn't get on well with anyone on the show actually, she was a bitch, haha. But, goodness, I love her!! I love the contrast of them being so friendly and happy on the show and at each other's throats off set. Shame what happened to Debbie, so not nice. I like that you put 'son' for Cher and Sonny. Most would say daughter, but he is who he is now. Shame how Sonny died, so sad, he had little children still. To be honest, I can't stand Jennifer Aniston, never have. I can't warm to her at all. But, I don't think she deserved how it all happened. I think she's handled it very gracefully. I hope the Katie and Tom thing sorts itself out as well, he scares me a bit with this Scientology stuff. I just wish he'd go back to 'Legend' and find a unicorn and be happy. And hopefully, their daughter will come out ok too, wouldn't be easy with all the papers trying to get in their business about everything!! :)

Joss said...

i so wished for jenny and brat to stay together. he looked so sweet with her and she looked so happy. now he's sort of old and she can't find the man of her dreams. with regards tom and kate - i never liked the couple. they were never meant for each other.


Shannon said...

I was bummed when Courtney Cox and David Arquette divorced. For some reason, I thought they seemed quirky but perfect for each other.

Now, I was super happy when Ryan Reynolds and ScarJo divorced, but that was for a totally different reason. ;)

Beauty Follower said...

I think Tom is getting a divorce for 3ed time...

Couture Carrie said...

Fun/sad post, darling!
Still upset about Brad & Jen :(


Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

Excellent Jen! I truly think Desi and Cher married for money and not love at first. I think they grew to love them in the end. When Sonny died, you could feel the love from Cher when she talked about him. Oh Gosh Elizabeth Taylor was something else! What a vixen, but I always still loved her (as everyone else obviously! hahaha). I was shocked about Brad Pitt and Jenn. I thought that was going to work, but now looking at him he definitely has another side that is more in sync with Angelina. Great post girl! It truly makes you think about things. I personally think Tom Cruise is gay (and all these marriages are cover ups). I think people would appreciate it if he would just come out and say it.

starla said...

I think my mother was the only surprised at TomKate's break-up: 'But they were so in love', she said.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

None of these shocked me as this is just what happens in one stays together. I didn't know Lucy and Desi were married for 20 years though!

I think Will and Jada will shock me if they ever break up, although I already know how you feel about Mr. Smith. :)

Mimi said...

i think i was the most surprised about jen and brad's divorce. it's crazy how hollywood stars treat marriage. :/

<3, Mimi
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Midnight Cowgirl said...

Very interesting yet so sad.

Imogen said...

I just can't believe the amount of divorces in Hollywood, it always shocks me. I guess the one I know most about is Tom Cruise Nicole Kidman because she is Australian. But I was pleased they got divorced because I do not like Tom Cruise at all. and now she is married to someone so much better!

Ang Lam said...

I think Jen and Brad's divorce is the worst because I still think they are so cute together and I love Jen so much.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Wait...Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married in real life? I thought that was just for TV. Good grief, where have I been?! :/

yiqin; said...

nice <3

Tights Lover said...

That was a great list. I enjoyed reading about all of them.

I'm happy for Katie and glad she's getting out of it. The Scientology-obsessed actors confuse me. The whole thing was made up as a tax-shelter and is essentially a money-scam. I'm not sure why they take it so seriously. It's scary.

nicki fanning said...

Great posts, there really have been some spectacular divorces in Hollywood, sadly we can add johnny depp & Vanessa paradis to this as " the ones we thought just might be different from all the rest"

Great blog if you get a chance to stop by my blog maybe we can become followers

Nicki fannings blogspot

Have great week


Annie said...

So true - it just never works out well...such a bummer!

Arielle-HumblePieVintage said...

I can't believe Billy Joel ever got Brinkley. All these are so good! I love Liz Taylor but I hate that she was such a man-stealer.
I wish I could just sit down and discuss all these couples with you. haha
I'd have to write a 4 paragraph long comment.

Lauren said...

I didn't know about Liz and her man stealing! I am so surprised to hear that!! Matches that are made in heaven, never really last!!

Loving your blog,

Ocean Dreams said...

It really is sad about Hollywood divorces - they mostly all end up in divorces. Tom Cruise does seem eccentric and I don't blame Katie and Nicole for leaving him, lol! ;)

Glee said...

Everytime a coule divorces, even celebirites, it always break my heart. Until now I still hurt for Jen. Even if I adore Angelina Jolie for her beauty and personality, I never gotten over Jen´s divorce.

But I feel like it´s Nicole Kidman who suffered the most. Not only was she unjustly divorced, she was also stripped of her rights to the adopted kids she raised for ten years. If brainwashing her kids, turning them against her and removing their respect to their mom aren´t very painful, I don´t know what could be more painful in a divorce. I´m really glad she´s blessed with a happy family now.

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